Priest Wins $250,000 for Catholic Elementary School

West Virginia priest Father Bill Matheny won money on trivia TV show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

(photo: Disney/ABC Domestic Television Fair Use via Wikipedia/CNA)

WASHINGTON — A priest from West Virginia recently won a quarter of a million dollars on the trivia TV show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and pledged to donate the money to a Catholic elementary school.

Father Bill Matheny had been trying to get on the trivia show for 17 years. This last summer, he finally fulfilled his dream, promising that he’d donate his winnings to St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School in St. Alban, West Virginia, which he attended as a child.

Using all three of his lifelines, he successfully won $250,000 before the show ran out of time.

He returned the next day to go for $500,000. Though he was leaning toward a particular answer, he wasn’t confident enough to go for it and decided to walk away with the $250,000. After making that decision, the show revealed that his guess would have been correct.

“If I were playing only for myself, I would’ve gone for it,” the priest told his local TV station in West Virginia.

“It seemed like that logical answer, but I watch the show enough to know that when someone gets to this level what seems logical is not always the right answer. So I was concerned. If it were me, I would’ve risked it because I could’ve lived with $50,000, but for the school I couldn’t jeopardize $200,000.”

Though the show was recorded last summer, it was showed on TV in September.

Here’s a video of the priest correctly answering the $50k, $100k and $250k questions:

And here’s the priest on the $500,000 question the next day:

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